Sourdough: a passion, a journey, an addiction...

From the greatest happiness, to the greatest frustration. Every time I learn a little more, I feel a little more out of my depth. But I guess that is where the challenge lies.

Naturally leavened bread is a joy to work with, and something that I will always try to understand. But I get the feeling it will always be one step ahead of me. 

Something so simple - flour, water and salt  - can be so complex. It's not just about a recipe. And it's not just about an active starter. The more you learn, the more detailed it becomes: leaven, hydration, dough autolyzation; bench rest and folding techniques; pre-shape, final shape and creating tension; how long to  retard the loaf in the fridge? Do you bake straight from the fridge or bring to room temperature? Scoring techniques. And then the oven - a whole other chapter: stone or Dutch? How much hydration? And do you bring the temperature down near the end of the bake? 

Baking is something I never thought I'd do, but it has become such a part of mine and my family's life, with all the joy of experimenting and including all the frustrations. There is nothing like the smell of sourdough in the house, nothing like peeking in the oven and seeing the perfect 'ear' or 'oven spring ' to put a smile on your face. And when you slice into your crusty, dark, crunchy loaf, exposing the super soft, slightly sour bread, with huge holes, that butter will fall straight through - it makes all the time and effort worth it!

In the end, it is just bread. But then again, maybe your next loaf will be your best yet...

And there lies the addiction.

Naturally leavened, and homemade.

 
White and Rye Sourdough, March 1st 2017

White and Rye Sourdough, March 1st 2017

 
 
 

And click here for more images from my bread journey to date!

It's not all about the almonds on the table - almond blossom anyone?

Our season of almond blossom is almost at an end. As the captivating white, pink and blue blanket of blossom fades away across the island, the spring shoots of green are already appearing.

And with almond harvest at the end of the Summer thoughts will soon be turning to this year's production of one of the island's major crops:  almond ice cream, almond milk, almond oil, almond granola... the possibilities for a Chef in Mallorca are endless!

But before then, I want to capture the delicate beauty of the blossom itself and preserve it for as long as I can. I've already experimented with orange blossom water,  lemon blossom water and rose blossom water - maybe almond blossom water should be next?  

Or this Almond Blossom Liqueur by Green Prophet looks good too...

 
PiersDawsonPrivateChefAlmondBlossom
 
 
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The Salt Flats of Es Trenc

Isan't it incredible what this island has to offer?

On a family adventure across the island this week, under the bluest of skies and a warm February sun, we stumbled across mountains of salt just a few miles back from the most southerly tip of the island. 

 
 

At the salt flats of Es Trenc, the salt is principally harvested at the end of the summer months for sale and consumption after the traditional evaporation, collection and drying process,

 
 

But even in February there are still mountains of salt in abundance and it is well worth the adventure down south whatever time of year, even if just to visit the delightful Flor de Sal d'Es Trenc shop and have a coffee in their sunny courtyard.

www.flordesaldestrenc.com

 
 

Charlie's Kitchen Winter Warmer

The full menu from our winter Pop Up. Perfectly suited to a dark, stormy night warmed up by log fires and candlelight in a stunning location in the mountains of Soller. January's menu focused on hearty winter comforts, with dishes full of warmth and flavour... 

To see more of our seasonal Pop Up menus from Autumn through to Spring go to:

www.piersdawson.com/charlies-kitchen 

And for more about what we do year round:

Charlie's Kitchen January 2017

We are excited to announce that Charlie’s Kitchen will be kicking off 2017 at a stunning new location in the mountains above Puerto de Soller.

Date: Friday 27th January 2017, at 20:00
Venue: Cas Andra, Cami de Cas Bernats 49, Sa Figuera, Soller
Menu: Glass of Cava on arrival, followed by multi-course set menu
Drinks: Bring Your Own - whatever your favourite tipple
Price : 60€ per person

Enquiries/reservations: holly@piersdawson.com

Book now for your place at the table - with this view included!

Cas Andra, Sa Figuera, Soller

Cas Andra, Sa Figuera, Soller